Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has made a personal phone call to former Manchester City player Denis Suarez to convince him to return to the Nou Camp during the current transfer window, according to AS. Enrique confirmed on 12 January that he wants to bolster his attack line, and it is believed the versatile Villarreal wideman is his top priority after original target Nolito was shelved over the club's financial situation.
Barca signed Suarez in the summer of 2013 from the Manchester City academy. He enjoyed an impressive debut campaign with Barcelona's B team before spending the following season on-loan at Sevilla. The Catalan giants cashed in last summer by selling him to Villarreal, although they maintain an option to buy him back.
AS claims Enrique is likely to exercise that clause in the current transfer mercato after recent reports suggested the club had been forced to give up the pursuit for Nolito due to their economical situation.
Enrique has recently seen his squad bolstered by the additions of Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal – who were unable to play during the first part of the season due to a Fifa transfer embargo – but he still wants to sign a forward, as he intends to deploy the Turkey international in midfield.
Resultantly, according to AS, Enrique recently telephoned Suarez to convince him to return to Barcelona, offering him a spot as the key back-up to the 'MSN' trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
However, AS believes negotiations with Villarreal will not be easy unless they secure someone to replace Suarez, with Real Madrid's out-of-favour Denis Cheryshev a likely candidate.
Luis Enrique, meanwhile, has confirmed he wants to strengthen his squad during the current mercato with a forward, speaking in a press conference ahead of their Copa del Rey las 16 second leg with Espanyol, having won 4-1 in their previous game.
"I don't know if I should answer that or not, but it's a good question," he responded, as quoted by Sport, when asked about the January targets. "Right now, I think probably in attack – if we are to bring someone in. In all areas, though, it would be nice to bring in reinforcements.
"There has to be negotiations before transfers, which always take time. It's harder in winter because teams don't want to lose players. It's not an easy time to operate, but we want to improve our squad and we are looking at players."